"THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING A CHRISTIAN" Living By Faith INTRODUCTION 1. An important aspect of being a Christian involves the element of "faith"... a. The gospel to which a person responds in becoming a Christian is called "the faith" - Ju 3 b. Those who obeyed the gospel have been "faithful to the Lord" - Ac 16:15 ; Co 1:2 c. Christians are called referred to as "the household of faith" - Ga 6:10 2. Indeed, "faith" is the underlying principle of all the Christian's conduct... a. It is fundamental to our salvation in Christ - Ro 1:16-17 b. It is central to the life we now live in Christ - Ga 2:20 ; 2 Co 5:7 3. Yet the nature of faith and its importance in the life of Christian... a. Are often misunderstood b. Are often neglected [As we continue to examine "The Significance Of Being A Christian", we therefore wish to emphasize that it means "Living By Faith"! What that entails may be clearer as we first define...] I. THE MEANING OF FAITH A. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF BELIEF... 1. The certainty or conviction that one has in some truth or proposition 2. E.g., believing in things concerning Jesus and His kingdom - Ac 8:12 3. Such faith, or conviction, comes from the Word of God - Ro 10: 17; cf. Jn 20:30-31 B. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF CONFIDENCE... 1. The willingness to place one's trust and reliance on someone else 2. E.g., placing our trust in God, that He is reliable - Ro 4:3 , 20-22 3. We are to have similar trust in God - 1 Pe 4:19 C. INVOLVES THE IDEA OF FIDELITY... 1. That one is loyal, committed, and can be trusted 2. E.g., a faithful steward is one who is reliable - 1 Co 4:2 3. Our faithfulness (commitment, trustworthiness) is to last even to the point of death - Re 2:10 ,13 [A faithful Christian, then, is one who believes in the Word of God, he has confidence in the Person of God, and is himself loyal and trustworthy in the service of God. Now let's take a look at what can be said about...] II. THE LIFE OF FAITH A. INVOLVES CONFESSING OUR FAITH... 1. I.e., acknowledging our belief in Jesus Christ before others 2. Something we must do as a condition of salvation - Ro 10:9 ,10 3. Something we do throughout our lives - Mt 10:32 ,33; 1 Jn 4:15 -- The life of faith is never ashamed to admit that one believes in Jesus Christ B. INVOLVES LIVING BY FAITH... 1. I.e., conducting one's life with trust in Jesus Christ - Ga 2: 20 2. Trusting in the works of Jesus, not our own; that His death was truly for our sins - 1 Co 15:1-3 ; Ti 3:5-7 3. Trusting in the words of Jesus, and living accordingly - e.g., Mt 6:33 ,34; Lk 6:46-48 -- The life of faith is one that seeks to live in harmony with the teaching of Jesus C. INVOLVES BENEFITING BY FAITH... 1. I.e., enjoying the blessings that come from a life of faith 2. Such as joy and peace, hope and power - Ro 15:13 3. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we can receive such blessings - Ep 3:12 ; Ph 4:6-7 ,13 -- The life of faith does not go unrewarded in this life, even though its primary concern is the life to come D. INVOLVES MAINTAINING OUR FAITH... 1. I.e., remaining steadfast in the faith we have in Christ 2. There is a need to stand fast, for faith can turn into unbelief - 1 Co 15:1-2 ; He 3:12-19 ; 4:1-2,11 3. To maintain faith, we must add to it other things such as virtue, knowledge, self-control, etc. - 2 Pe 1:5-11 ; 3:17-18 CONCLUSION 1. A Christian is one who should take his faith very seriously... a. It is essential to salvation (both being saved and remaining saved) b. It is essential to life (to receive blessings now, and in the life to come) 2. Are you "Living By Faith"? a. Do you believe what has been revealed about Jesus Christ? b. Do you have confidence in Him, that He can deliver on what He promises? c. Are you a trustworthy disciple of Jesus, someone He can count on to be faithful? Unless we can answer in the affirmative to such questions, we have yet to appreciate that "The Significance Of Being A Christian" includes "Living By Faith"!